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Old 10-22-09, 01:01 PM   #1
goodtimes5
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Mt. Diablo - North or South Gate?

I'm thinking about doing a ride up Mt. Diablo for the first time. I'm in Berkeley, but will probably take BART to Walnut Creek BART station to start the ride. Should I travel south from there to take South Gate up to the summit and then travel down North Gate Road? Or should I take North Gate Road up and down?
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Old 10-22-09, 01:06 PM   #2
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How much time do you have?

A lot of time? Do both.

Up NGate - down SGate - reverse - summit
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Old 10-22-09, 01:12 PM   #3
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Doesn't really matter much. Climbing from the south side is a little easier since you start about 500' higher up - but if you're riding from WC you'd need to climb those 500' to get to the south side starting point. And climbing from the south you get a little break from climbing at Rock City - makes it more pleasant but lengthens the time and distance to the summit.

I'd say the main advantage of doing the south and then north loop is just so you get the variety and views from both roads, but it will take a little longer than just doing an out-and-back.
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Old 10-22-09, 02:38 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by goodtimes5 View Post
I'm thinking about doing a ride up Mt. Diablo for the first time. I'm in Berkeley, but will probably take BART to Walnut Creek BART station to start the ride. Should I travel south from there to take South Gate up to the summit and then travel down North Gate Road? Or should I take North Gate Road up and down?
Why not just ride from Berkeley? http://www.2008.calcycling.org/?q=node/198
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Old 10-22-09, 02:42 PM   #5
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I like what DiabloScott says...

"There is the Northside and then there is the Easy Side"

The "bump" at 1000 feet on the Northside is harder than anything on the whole south side.
First timer, not the strongest climber.. go South young man.
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Old 10-22-09, 03:06 PM   #6
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I like what DiabloScott says...
Almost always good advice.

Also, Pleasant Hill is a much better BART station than WC to get to the North side - easy trail ride to Bancroft, then nice wide road out to the edge of town. Access to SGR sucks from any direction, but it's better when you're headed toward Danville (downhill and fast so fewer cars have to pass).

I suggest PH Bart-NGR-Summit-SGR-Danville Blvd.
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Old 10-22-09, 05:24 PM   #7
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I also enjoy heading out to the Morgan Territory climb first and then loop around to South Gate. Longer obviously but it's a nice loop and I enjoy the roads around there.
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Old 10-22-09, 08:03 PM   #8
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North side is definately more difficult. A few months ago I did North and South on back-to-back weekends. I did North first, and South gate was a breeze in comparison. There is more steeper sections on the North side and about 500 ft more elevation gain.

In fact, while talking about it, I feel like doing Diablo this weekend. I'll probably climb South gate since that's what's benched marked. I may ride in from Livermore and add some mileage to the ride.
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Old 10-22-09, 08:37 PM   #9
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I do not consider myself a strong climber, so I'll probably take South Gate then. I was thinking of using this route (not mine): http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path...ummit-and-back
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Old 10-23-09, 12:25 AM   #10
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I think I must be one of the few who don't find the North gate road a whole heck of a lot worse than South Gate. North Gate is just more of a steady climb IMO. If you can do one, you can do the other.
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Old 10-23-09, 11:36 AM   #11
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I do not consider myself a strong climber, so I'll probably take South Gate then. I was thinking of using this route (not mine): http://www.bikely.com/maps/bike-path...ummit-and-back
Try using this route to Pleasant Hill Bart on your return leg.
I avoid Ygnacio Valley Rd, it sucks for bikes. Cars do freeway speeds on it and there is no bike lane

I would take Walnut Ave all way the until it becomes Bancroft and then use the Iron Horse Trail as a straight shot into Pleasant Hill Bart.

I am a local boy, these are my backyard roads.

Walnut/Bancroft is a false flat downhill with wide, wide bike lanes/shoulders and great surface.
You will be cruisin' for sure, plus it often has a tail wind here.

ROUTE: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/12113
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Old 10-23-09, 04:35 PM   #12
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Try using this route to Pleasant Hill Bart on your return leg.
I avoid Ygnacio Valley Rd, it sucks for bikes. Cars do freeway speeds on it and there is no bike lane

I would take Walnut Ave all way the until it becomes Bancroft and then use the Iron Horse Trail as a straight shot into Pleasant Hill Bart.

I am a local boy, these are my backyard roads.

Walnut/Bancroft is a false flat downhill with wide, wide bike lanes/shoulders and great surface.
You will be cruisin' for sure, plus it often has a tail wind here.

ROUTE: http://ridewithgps.com/routes/12113
Thanks a lot. I'll be using that for the return.
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Old 05-14-13, 10:04 AM   #13
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First ride as a new biker to summit PhillBart-NGR-Summit and back

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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
Almost always good advice.

Also, Pleasant Hill is a much better BART station than WC to get to the North side - easy trail ride to Bancroft, then nice wide road out to the edge of town. Access to SGR sucks from any direction, but it's better when you're headed toward Danville (downhill and fast so fewer cars have to pass).

I suggest PH Bart-NGR-Summit-SGR-Danville Blvd.
Diablo Scott many thanks for a great recommendation for an incredible ride! I live in Phill and went from my place to canal trail to bancroft and up mt d. This was my first ride as a new biker and I loved the climb! I went down Northgate side and back to my place totaling 40 miles.. Looking forward to trying south side! The last stretch to the very top was intense! Any recommendations for other rides in this area? Happy riding!
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Old 05-14-13, 10:45 AM   #14
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For SGR what is the better BART station to start from?
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Old 05-14-13, 12:20 PM   #15
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For SGR what is the better BART station to start from?
I would say Walnut Creek or Lafayette (about 50 to 60 minutes from base of SGR).
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Old 05-14-13, 12:56 PM   #16
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I would say Walnut Creek or Lafayette (about 50 to 60 minutes from base of SGR).

You know the WC Bart station is in such a congested area that I might still recommend the PHill station for a SGR trip. From WC you'd either go south on California down to Danville Blvd, or go east on Yganacio or maybe Pine to get to the Iron Horse trail - lots of cars, no bike lanes. From PHill the trail is right there and you have a nice MUP all the way down to DB.

Of course the best way to get to SGR is to go over NGR and down the other side.
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Old 05-15-13, 10:17 AM   #17
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I think I must be one of the few who don't find the North gate road a whole heck of a lot worse than South Gate. North Gate is just more of a steady climb IMO. If you can do one, you can do the other.
I do tend to go alot slower on the North side, mental game?? I see the hairpins and I lose my "gusto", whereas the southside offers shaded areas and the break at Rock City.
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Old 05-15-13, 11:40 AM   #18
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Rock City is the part of SG that I like the least. It's pretty but when I have a mountain to climb I want to be climbing, not wasting time on flat ground.
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Old 05-15-13, 10:46 PM   #19
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Rock City is the part of SG that I like the least. It's pretty but when I have a mountain to climb I want to be climbing, not wasting time on flat ground.
Just big-ring it! Keeps the heart rate up and the engine going. I find if I take a little break in that area it takes a few minutes to get going again when it kicks up.
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